Go to the Future

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Go to the Future (Japanese pronunciation: [go:tsɯ:zaɸjɯ:tɕa) is the debut studio album by Japanese band Sakanaction. Go to the Future_sentence_0

It was released on May 9, 2007 through Victor Entertainment sub-label BabeStar. Go to the Future_sentence_1

Recorded and produced in the band's native Hokkaido in a month, the album compiled the band's early songs, including compositions from the band's vocalist Ichiro Yamaguchi's high-school band Dutchman. Go to the Future_sentence_2

The album mixed electronic and rock music conventions, and featured live instruments as a way to conceptually separate the album from pure dance music. Go to the Future_sentence_3

Though not commercially successful nationally, the album was well received in Hokkaido. Go to the Future_sentence_4

The leading song of the album, "Mikazuki Sunset", received strong airplay by radio stations such as FM North Wave and FM Hokkaido. Go to the Future_sentence_5

Critics praised the album, noting Yamaguchi's distinct vocals and the band's varied electronic and rock sound. Go to the Future_sentence_6

In 2009, the album was made available globally as a digital download, alongside the band's second and third albums Night Fishing (2008) and Shin-shiro (2009). Go to the Future_sentence_7

In 2015, the album was reissued on CD, LP record and lossless digital formats. Go to the Future_sentence_8

Background and development Go to the Future_section_0

Sakanaction was first formed in August 2005 in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Go to the Future_sentence_9

It was originally a two-member unit, consisting of vocalist Ichiro Yamaguchi and guitarist Motoharu Iwadera. Go to the Future_sentence_10

Yamaguchi first worked together with Iwadera in the band Dutchman, that formed at their high school in 1998 and performed British rock-inspired music. Go to the Future_sentence_11

In 2004, the band broke up, and Yamaguchi took the name for his solo project, where he created techno and club music. Go to the Future_sentence_12

Yamaguchi had the idea that it would be interesting to mix electronic music with Japanese-style "folky melodies", so formed Sakanaction with Iwadera. Go to the Future_sentence_13

Bassist Ami Kusakari first joined the band as a support member in December 2005. Go to the Future_sentence_14

She was originally in a separate band that often performed at the same events as Dutchman. Go to the Future_sentence_15

When her band broke up, Yamaguchi took advantage of this and asked her to join. Go to the Future_sentence_16

In the summer of 2006, keyboardist Emi Okazaki and drummer Keiichi Ejima joined the band to form the group's current five-member line-up. Go to the Future_sentence_17

Ejima was introduced to Yamaguchi through a friend, and Okazaki was originally a co-worker of Yamaguchi's. Go to the Future_sentence_18

Before the band's debut, they mostly performed at live houses around Sapporo. Go to the Future_sentence_19

In August, the band made their first festival appearance at the Rising Sun Rock Festival in Yamaguchi's home town of Otaru. Go to the Future_sentence_20

During this period, Sakanaction sent demos of their songs "Mikazuki Sunset" and later "Shiranami Top Water" to College Radio Japan Sapporo. Go to the Future_sentence_21

Both songs were well received by listeners, managing to be in the top five weekly songs for the radio program, and "Shiranami Top Water" charted in the top 100 songs on FM North Wave's Sapporo Hot 100 chart in September. Go to the Future_sentence_22

While a member of Dutchman, Yamaguchi had been scouted and trained by Victor Entertainment. Go to the Future_sentence_23

After they had managed to go through the audition process to perform at the Rising Sun Rock Festival, Yamaguchi sent his material with Sakanaction to his contact at Victor, which led to the band's debut through BabeStar. Go to the Future_sentence_24

Originally the group featured three official members, after drummer Ejima had been added, but for the group's major label debut they officially promoted support members Kusakari and Okazaki. Go to the Future_sentence_25

The band was unveiled as being on BabeStar's line-up in February 2007. Go to the Future_sentence_26

Writing and production Go to the Future_section_1

The album was recorded at two locations in Sapporo, Studio Jack at the Yamaha Center in Chūō-ku, and at Chieria Studio in the Sapporo Lifelong Learning Center in Nishi-ku. Go to the Future_sentence_27

After it was commissioned, the album took only a month to produce, as Sakanaction mostly reworked demos they had already produced to create an album. Go to the Future_sentence_28

Only the song "Yoru no Higashigawa" was written specifically for the album. Go to the Future_sentence_29

Two of the songs had been released by Yamaguchi's first band Dutchman, "Inner World" in 2002 and "Mikazuki Sunset" in 2003. Go to the Future_sentence_30

As a soloist, Yamaguchi released a remix of the song "Shiranami Top Water" on the compilation album Music for Pardisco in 2004. Go to the Future_sentence_31

Retrospectively, Yamaguchi said that Go to the Future felt like a business card for Sakanaction, due to the album being a compilation of already created songs. Go to the Future_sentence_32

The album was recorded and produced entirely in Hokkaido, including the album's cover artwork and music videos. Go to the Future_sentence_33

When writing the songs, Yamaguchi thought up imagery for each song, and asked the other band members to picture this while creating and performing the songs. Go to the Future_sentence_34

Yamaguchi created the album's music and melody while thinking about how they would be received by other people, but wrote the lyrics entirely introspectively. Go to the Future_sentence_35

"Mikazuki Sunset" and "Shiranami Top Water" were the first songs produced by the band, and were the band's first attempts at making club-style music. Go to the Future_sentence_36

Due to their success on college radio, Yamaguchi felt like this was proof that the mix of dance music with Japanese melodies was a good direction, and continued to make music in this style. Go to the Future_sentence_37

Yamaguchi was inspired by the differences in house and techno music styles when writing the album. Go to the Future_sentence_38

Yamaguchi was mindful about how to reach a wide audience, and considered that live instruments were important to stress how the album was rock music, as pure dance music was based on electronic and sampled instruments. Go to the Future_sentence_39

One convention the band kept for the album was to record everything at 126BPM, to make it easier for the band's drummer, who had not experienced performing dance music before. Go to the Future_sentence_40

Yamaguchi considered folky melodies on top of techno and house music the core of Sakanaction's sound on Go to the Future. Go to the Future_sentence_41

In a retrospective interview conducted with Rockin' On Japan in 2011, Yamaguchi felt that his need to construct his own personal musical vision was too strong, and felt like the other members of Sakanaction had too little say in the album's content. Go to the Future_sentence_42

"Amefura" was the first song that Sakanaction worked on together as a five-piece band, and was created to be a playful song mixing American and French styles. Go to the Future_sentence_43

"Go to the Future" was originally an acoustic song, that grew into a triple metre song when the band developed their electronic sound. Go to the Future_sentence_44

The song as the band originally envisioned it was re-recorded for their 2015 compilation album Natsukashii Tsuki wa Atarashii Tsuki: Coupling & Remix Works. Go to the Future_sentence_45

Footage on the visual media disc of the album shows Yamaguchi and Iwadera returning to the studio where they had originally performed the song in Sapporo, to recreate the song. Go to the Future_sentence_46

The published version of the song "Fukurō" found on the album used the ad-libbed lyrics Yamguchi had created while composing the guitar chords of the song. Go to the Future_sentence_47

Promotion and release Go to the Future_section_2

The album was primarily promoted by the song "Mikazuki Sunset". Go to the Future_sentence_48

The song was used on several television programs as opening or closing credit music, including MM-TV on Mainichi Broadcasting System, Music-03 on Chiba Television Broadcasting and Yumechika 18 on Hokkaido Television Broadcasting. Go to the Future_sentence_49

Both "Mikazuki Sunset" and "Shiranami Top Water" received music videos. Go to the Future_sentence_50

"Mikazuki Sunset"'s video was directed by Yoshihiro Mori, and "Shiranami Top Water"'s by Hokkaido artist Hiroshi Kondo. Go to the Future_sentence_51

A special website was created to promote Go to the Future, which opened on April 26. Go to the Future_sentence_52

It featured the music videos of the two promotional songs on the album, as well as song commentary by Yamaguchi. Go to the Future_sentence_53

Live performances of "Mikazuki Sunset" and "Inner World" were broadcast on Yumechika 18 on May 16, featuring footage of the band's performance at the Sapporo Kraps Hall on April 28. Go to the Future_sentence_54

Sakanaction performed a short tour of Japan to promote the album's release, performing concerts in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya from May 11 to May 13, and held a solo-billed live at Bessie Hall in Sapporo on May 27. Go to the Future_sentence_55

The band were featured in many major magazine publications in Japan to promote the album, including Pia, CD Data, What's In?, Barfout! Go to the Future_sentence_56

and Rockin' On Japan. Go to the Future_sentence_57

In 2015 the album was reissued, initially on vinyl record and a CD re-release in March, followed by a lossless digital release. Go to the Future_sentence_58

Originally the band had planned on releasing a new studio album around March 2015, however could not do so due to bassist Kusakari's pregnancy. Go to the Future_sentence_59

Reception Go to the Future_section_3

Critical reception Go to the Future_section_4

CDJournal online reviewers gave the album their star of recommendation, praised the variety of sounds and tempos on the album, as well as the "peculiar musical world" created by Yamaguchi's "dry" vocals layered on top of a "floating-feeling" techno and "funky" sound. Go to the Future_sentence_60

They further noted Sakanaction's intense usage of surround sound during the album. Go to the Future_sentence_61

Reviewer Yuji Tayama praised the album for its multi-faceted nature, and focused his praise on Emi Okazaki's keyboard work, the band's "funky rhythms" and vocalist Ichiro Yamaguchi's "nostalgic, youthful vocals". Go to the Future_sentence_62

He felt the album had a "dazzling" and "refined" pop sense echoed in their "clear 'vocal post-rock' sound", and described the album as being "at times colorful like the pattern of a tropical fish, and at times gloomy like the mood of a deep sea fish". Go to the Future_sentence_63

Mayumi Tsuchida of Bounce felt the album's strength was the harmony between the "[rock] band sound smeared with techno and electronica" and Yamaguchi's sorrowful, literary lyrics. Go to the Future_sentence_64

She singled out "Shiranami Top Water" as the best example of this, feeling that its "bouncy synths and elegant guitar" worked together to "paint a spiral" and soared together, to create "breathtaking beauty". Go to the Future_sentence_65

Retrospectively, Entertainment Media Kulture felt that the album showed Sakanaction still in the process of finding their sound, with many aspects feeling avant-garde. Go to the Future_sentence_66

Commercial reception Go to the Future_section_5

In its debut week, Go to the Future was the number 105 most sold album in Japan, according to the Japanese music chart Oricon, selling 1,500 copies. Go to the Future_sentence_67

It continued to chart in the top 300 for an additional four weeks, selling an additional 3,000 copies. Go to the Future_sentence_68

During the release of the band's single "Aruku Around" in January 2010, the album re-charted for a single week, bringing the total tracked number of copies sold to 5,000. Go to the Future_sentence_69

In 2015, the album's reissued version debuted at number 55, selling 1,500 copies in its first week, and bringing the total copies of the album sold to 7,000. Go to the Future_sentence_70

Tracking the regional sales of Japanese Tower Records stores, CDJournal noted a significant number of copies sold in Sapporo. Go to the Future_sentence_71

In its first week, Go to the Future was the second most sold album, only behind Mr. Go to the Future_sentence_72 Children's B-Side; selling 200 copies at Sapporo's Tower Records and HMV stores. Go to the Future_sentence_73

CDJournal noted the album had a mid-level success in two Tokyo locations, notably at the Tower Records Shibuya where it sold 100 copies in the first ten days. Go to the Future_sentence_74

However, CDJournal did not note any significant sales in the other regional centers of Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. Go to the Future_sentence_75

In May, "Mikazuki Sunset" reached number two on FM North Wave's airplay and sales chart, the Sapporo Hot 100, while the song "Shiranami Top Water" also received minor radio airplay during this time. Go to the Future_sentence_76

Radio data compiler Plantech tracked the song as being the second most played song in Hokkaido in early May. Go to the Future_sentence_77

"Mikazuki Sunset" eventually became the 66th most successful song of 2007 on the Sapporo Hot 100. Go to the Future_sentence_78

Track listing Go to the Future_section_6

All tracks are written by Ichiro Yamaguchi. Go to the Future_sentence_79

Personnel Go to the Future_section_7

Personnel details were sourced from Go to the Future's liner notes booklet. Go to the Future_sentence_80

Sakanaction Go to the Future_sentence_81

Personnel and imagery Go to the Future_sentence_82

Charts Go to the Future_section_8

Go to the Future_table_general_0

Charts (2007)Go to the Future_header_cell_0_0_0 Peak

positionGo to the Future_header_cell_0_0_1

Japan Oricon weekly albumsGo to the Future_cell_0_1_0 105Go to the Future_cell_0_1_1
Charts (2015)Go to the Future_header_cell_0_2_0 Peak

positionGo to the Future_header_cell_0_2_1

Japan Oricon weekly albumsGo to the Future_cell_0_3_0 55Go to the Future_cell_0_3_1

Sales Go to the Future_section_9

Go to the Future_table_general_1

ChartGo to the Future_header_cell_1_0_0 AmountGo to the Future_header_cell_1_0_1
Oricon physical salesGo to the Future_cell_1_1_0 7,000Go to the Future_cell_1_1_1

Release history Go to the Future_section_10

Go to the Future_table_general_2

RegionGo to the Future_header_cell_2_0_0 DateGo to the Future_header_cell_2_0_1 FormatGo to the Future_header_cell_2_0_2 Distributing LabelGo to the Future_header_cell_2_0_3 Catalogue codesGo to the Future_header_cell_2_0_4
JapanGo to the Future_cell_2_1_0 May 9, 2007 (2007-05-09)Go to the Future_cell_2_1_1 CD, digital downloadGo to the Future_cell_2_1_2 BabeStar LabelGo to the Future_cell_2_1_3 VICB-60023Go to the Future_cell_2_1_4
South KoreaGo to the Future_cell_2_2_0 March 26, 2009 (2009-03-26)Go to the Future_cell_2_2_1 digital downloadGo to the Future_cell_2_2_2 J-Box EntertainmentGo to the Future_cell_2_2_3 N/AGo to the Future_cell_2_2_4
WorldwideGo to the Future_cell_2_3_0 July 15, 2009 (2009-07-15)Go to the Future_cell_2_3_1 digital downloadGo to the Future_cell_2_3_2 Victor EntertainmentGo to the Future_cell_2_3_3 N/AGo to the Future_cell_2_3_4
JapanGo to the Future_cell_2_4_0 March 18, 2015 (2015-03-18)Go to the Future_cell_2_4_1 lossless digital downloadGo to the Future_cell_2_4_2 VEAHD-10612Go to the Future_cell_2_4_3
March 25, 2015 (2015-03-25)Go to the Future_cell_2_5_0 CD, LP recordGo to the Future_cell_2_5_1 VICL-64343, VIJL-60144~5Go to the Future_cell_2_5_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go to the Future.